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Orioles Review and Preview: White Sox, Twins

You figured it had to happen at some point. Right? The Orioles finally won a series in the second half, taking two of three in Chicago.

It was also the team's first road series victory since winning two of three in Seattle in early July. Coupled with a series finale victory against the Rays, the O's have now won three of four for the first time since following up the Seattle series win with one over the Toronto Blue Jays at home leading up to the all-star break.

Jeremy Guthrie picked up his first win in five starts by holding the opposition to one run for just the third time this season, lasting seven innings to beat Maryland native Gavin Floyd, 5-1. The Orioles were powered by Brian Roberts who hit two homers and drove in three runs while going 2 for 5 at the plate.

Baltimore's attempt at the team's first three-game winning streak since mid-June was thwarted as the White Sox collected a 4-1 victory Saturday. The Orioles had their chances against Chicago starter John Danks who allowed one run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings but also handed out six free passes.

Sunday's finale figured to be a complete mismatch in Chicago's favor as Mark Buehrle, he of the perfect game, and Jason Berken, he of the 11 losses, were opposite each other. After a rough first inning where the defense committed two errors behind him which allow an unearned run to score, Berken went 5 2/3 innings to pick up his third win of the season, 5-4. Buehrle, on the other hand, conceded two home runs - a solo shot to Felix Pie and a two-run blast to Nolan Reimold - as he fell to 0-4 with a 6.21 ERA in his six starts since throwing his perfect game.

The Orioles will try to again play spoiler in the AL Central as they travel to Minnesota for a three-game series that begins tonight. The Twins are in third place, 4 ½ games behind division-leading Detroit but are coming off the team's first road sweep since 2008, taking all three in Kansas City.

Minnesota has been without slugger Justin Morneau for the past week as he deals with a lingering ear infection. Despite the hole in their lineup, the Twins still blistered the Royals for a combined 23 runs in the three games.

Baltimore will throw out youngsters Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz in the first two games and follow up with the only veteran in its rotation, Jeremy Guthrie. Minnesota's rotation shapes up with Scott Baker, rookie Armando Gabino and Nick Blackburn set to face the Orioles.

Tuesday's matchup of Matusz and Gabino should be interesting as, for the first time, Matusz will be the more experienced pitcher on the mound. Gabino will be making his major league debut. Gabino went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 36 appearances (five starts) for Class AAA Rochester and had given up three earned runs in his last 16 2/3 innings in the minors.

By CJ Holley  |  August 24, 2009; 4:22 PM ET
Categories:  Orioles , Twins , White Sox  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back, chicago white sox, minnesota twins  
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